Treo 700w Review Calendar and Contacts

Treo 700 Review continued:
Calendar and Contacts

January 11, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

The calendar application found on the Treo 700w is similar in layout to the one found on the Treo 650. Days of the week appear in the top right of the screen and you can switch views between Day, Week, Month and Year in the bottom left corner of each Treo. The Palm OS calendar allows you to select a time slot and start typing an appointment. Creating an appointment on the 700w requires you to use the menu button and then select New Appointment. Additionally, you can select and hold a time, and the Treo 700w will bring to the “new appointment form”. The form that allows you to fill in various fields regarding your appointment. There are prefixes for frequently used appointments such as:

  • Meet with
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Visit
  • Call
  • Birthday
  • Complete
  • Conference
  • Business Trip

Calendar entries on 700w

This auto prefix for common appointments is a nice touch. It would have been nice if they allowed you to customize this menu. The Location portion of the form actually pulls from past appointments. If you have a meeting at Palm Corporate Offices, it will allow you to quickly select that Location. Everything can be navigated using one hand and the 5-way navigator. You can set attendees and set reminders. Setting up an appointment on the 700w is very similar to filling in a web form. Easy enough to complete, but left me longing for the simplicity of the Palm OS calendar application. For me, I’d prefer to touch the time and type my appointment. If you are a busy person with more than 5 appointments per day, then you’ll have to scroll to see all your appointments. The scroller appears on the right hand side of the 700w screen is difficult to navigate using your finger. Those with big hands will have to use the stylus. Microsoft needs to remember that most of us are using our hands when navigating our smartphones. On future software updates, they should take a page from SnapperMail. In Snappermail, you can switch from “stylus” mode to “finger” mode allowing you to easily scroll using your finger. When in “finger mode”, touching the side of the Palm screen brings up a bigger side scroller allowing for easy control. Until Windows Mobile integrates a similar feature, the easiest way is to scroll through your dialing appointments is using the 5-way navigation. On the Treo 650, you could view up to 11 appointments without having to scroll. The Windows Mobile Calendar is a good-looking calendar, but it lacks the simplicity and ease of use of the Palm OS calendar.

Calendar comparisons between Treo 650 and Treo 700w

Comparing Contacts on the Treo 700w and Treo 650

On the Treo 650, when you enter contacts, you can type the first few letters to bring up associated contacts. Typing Mom will bring up entries for Mom and Dad. This is no different on the 700w. Using the 5-way navigation on the Treo 650, you can scroll to a phone number to dial. If I have cell phone and home phone for Mom and Dad, it’s easy enough to select and dial. The Treo 700w goes one step further. Let’s say I’m doing search for Mom and Dad, once I select my “rolodex card”, I have multiple options. Put simply, Windows Mobile asks me if I’d like to:

  • Call Mobile
  • Call Work
  • Call Home
  • Send Text Message
  • Send Email

Comparing Treo Contacts

The execution of the contacts screen is excellent. The contacts application knows that it’s running on a smartphone. It quickly and easily provides communicating with my contact via phone call, text message or email. Very well done and an improvement over the Treo 650’s contacts application.

Treo 700w Review continued: Internet

Treo 700w Review Phone Features

Treo 700w Review Continued:
Phone Features

January 11, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

First a phone, then a smartphone

The Palm Treo 700w is a phone first, then a smartphone, so performing well as a phone of the utmost importance. Initiating a call can be accomplished a variety of ways:

  • Speed Dial Photo Favorites
  • Speed Dial Buttons without photo
  • Typing either a name or number into the phone “form” box
  • Dial from within Contacts
  • Dial a phone number from within an email
  • Dial a phone number from a webpage

Dial from web on 700w

Suffice to say, the Treo 700w offers a number of options to make a call. I was very happy with the quality of the calls with the Treo 700w. Without using a headset, the Treo 700w was slightly better than the Treo 650. Calls were clear on both ends. For the first day or so, I did not have my Bluetooth headset set up with the Treo 700w. This was intentional, as I wanted to try the speakerphone and use the Treo as a handheld. Both the phone and speakerphone performed very well. My father, who recently turned 76, was a good test considering he can barely hear me when I call on a landline. He was able to hear me without an issue and said, “You sound clear” and was surprised to hear that i had him on speakerphone. I’ve been using the Treo 700w for a week and it’s met my expectations in terms of phone call quality.

Bluetooth Headsets on the Treo 700w

As a Palm Treo 650 owner, I was happy to see that my Bluetooth headset would be compatible with the new Treo 700w. I use the Sony Ericsson HBH-660 and the new pairing was quite seamless. Simply touch the Bluetooth icon at the top of the Windows Today screen, Select Devices, New Partnership and then follow the directions. The Sony HBH-660 paired in just a few seconds. The Sony has always worked great with the 650, so I was curious to see how it would perform with the 700w.

Treo 700w Bluetooth

When initiating a call, the Treo picked up the headset almost instantaneously. On the flip side, when receiving a call, the headset actually rang before the Treo. This is big plus for Treo 650 owners who are moving to the Treo 700w. You can expect that you’re Bluetooth headset will work with the new Treo. Mileage may vary, but I couldn’t be happier with the results of the 700w with the Sony HBH-660. Quality of the call was not different than with my Treo 650. Excerpt from review of Treo 650 with Sony Ericsson HBH-660: I experienced very good voice quality on both ends using the 660. Volume was at an above average level. Depending on the surroundings, the headset could be a touch louder. Overall, I was able to hear callers in outdoor conditions. From the callerĂ¢??s perspective, my voice was clear and often compared to that of a landline.

Calling Features

On the Treo 650, you have on-screen buttons allowing for easy hang-up, speakerphone function, hold features and to access the dial pad. It’s also quite easy to put someone on hold and to add a call. The Treo 700w has similar features, but they are hidden in the menus. Pressing the left menu button will place the call on hold. If you dial a second contact while on a call, it will automatically put the first caller on hold until you press the Conference button. To sum it up, conference calling is available on the Treo 700w, but requires the use of the menu buttons rather than the on-screen buttons of the Treo 650. By automatically placing someone on hold when you make a second call, the Treo 700w does save you a step. Like many features on the Treo 700w, utilizing the menu buttons is key. I found it easy enough to set up a conference call on the Treo 700w. On the 700w, when you end the conference, you are hanging up on the second caller. This allows you to finish a conversation with caller one if necessary. On the Treo 650, ending a conference call resulted in hanging up on both callers.

Voice Command

Neatly tucked away in the Settings section of the Treo 700w is a very powerful feature. Once activated, Voice Command
can be initiated by setting up a button in the Buttons preferences. In my testing, I set up the side button on the Treo. Holding
this button brings up a microphone icon. I instructed the Treo to “Call Gino’s Pizzeria“. The Treo 700w
repeated back my command and I could have the Treo 700w dial by either pressing the left menu button or the Phone button.
In the case of multiple phone numbers, you can instruct the Treo to call the home, mobile, work phone number associated with the contact. For instance, “Call Mary Smith Mobile“. It also brings up the contact record allowing you to easily scroll to the appropriate number.

Getting to the Speakerphone

Accessing the speakerphone option on the Treo 700w requires some dexterity. You must first access the Menu button and press the center of the 5-way navigator to enable the speakerphone. Gone is the big button of the Treo 650, which enabled a quick switch to the speakerphone by pressing the button on-screen. Accessing speakerphone using Windows Mobile 5 seems a bit clumsy. I’ve done it a few times while driving and don’t recommend it. If Microsoft would allow you to use the same menu button to access a feature, this would minimize the downside. One nice feature was the ability to go back to Bluetooth. Let’s say you put a caller on speakerphone, you can opt to back to using your Bluetooth headset. First you select the Menu button, Go to Bluetooth and then use the center of the 5-way navigator.

Treo 700w Review continued: Calendar and Contacts

Treo 700w Review Windows Today Overview

Treo 700w Review continued:

Treo 700w Review: Windows Today

January 11, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

Google It!

If you scroll down a bit on Windows Today, you’ll see a form box that allows you to search Google. Thankfully, Palm managed to get Microsoft to put Google on the Treo 700w in favor of MSN. You can type in a search, hit the return key (down arrow) and retrieve results via Google. During my first few days with the Treo 700w, I was on the road and I kept calling my local pizzeria to order take-out. After multiple calls, I wondered if perhaps I had the number wrong. I navigated down to the Google search bar and entered Gino’s Massapequa.

Google on Treo 700w

The 700w accesses the web by dialing #777 automatically to connect to the braodband line. Within seconds, my result came up in Google with the phone number. I was able to tap the number and the Treo 700w initiated the call. Not sure why, but Windows Mobile did alert me that, “Running a system command on this item might be unsafe. Do you wish to continue? I guess this was a reminder that I was in Windows and some of the dialog boxes aren’t exactly helpful. Despite this odd dialog, the seamless use of Google to help me locate a number was fantastic.

Google Results on Treo 700w

Windows Today Overall

Overall, I’m a big fan of the Windows Today screen. It was a much different experience than using the Treo 650, but felt comfortable after a few days. It does a fantastic job of managing my upcoming appointments, emails, favorite callers, access to applications and the Google Search feature. Using Windows Today makes it feel as though you’ve got a desktop computer in the palm of your hand, moreso than on the Treo 650. The Treo 700w screen looks more impressive at first glance than the Treo 650’s dialer/favorites screen despite the Treo 650’s higher resolution.

Since this is the first Treo with Windows Mobile, there is room for improvement with Windows Today and some glaring omissions, such as; it would be great to see options to hide menus or at a minimum make the menu bar smaller. The Speed Dial, while very attractive looking, does not allow you to access multiple phone numbers for a particular contact. Hopefully, future revisions of Windows Mobile will take a cue from the Palm OS.

Treo 700w Review continued: Phone Features